Dulles, Reagan go big on digital screen advertising

WASHINGTON — Reagan National and Dulles International airports may soon look more like Times Square, after a contract was awarded to have 120 high definition digital advertising screens installed, including some that are more than 20 feet wide.

The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority has awarded an eight-year contract to Clear Channel Airports for indoor and outdoor display advertising at both National and Dulles. The contract also has a two-year option.

The Clear Channel Airports plan is for 120 digital screens displaying 10 different digital networks. Dulles will get 75 high definition screens and three large format digital screens. Reagan National will get 49 high definition screens and three “21-foot iconic digital screens.”

Along with advertisements, the screens will display digital directories with concession stand locations and free phone charging stations. They will also serve as digital visitor information centers with information on Washington area museums, restaurants, hotels and other attractions.

It is a captive audience for advertisers. Reagan National had a record 23 million passengers last year. Dulles had 21.7 million passengers in 2015.

Clear Channel Airports is a division of Clear Channel Outdoor Americas, and subsidiary of iHeartMedia Inc.

Clear Channel Outdoor is no stranger to the Washington market. It has about 3,000 displays throughout the Washington metro and 110 digital transit shelters in the District.

Under its contract with the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, Clear Channel, which will sell the advertising, agreed to a minimum guarantee of $151.5 million over 10 years for the Airports Authority.

Clear Channel will invest more than $13 million on installation and upkeep.

Clear Channel Airports other airport advertising partners include Chicago’s O’Hare and Midway, Dallas-Fort Worth, Denver, Miami, San Francisco, Seattle, Rome, Toronto and Zurich.

Jeff Clabaugh

Jeff Clabaugh has spent 20 years covering the Washington region's economy and financial markets for WTOP as part of a partnership with the Washington Business Journal, and officially joined the WTOP newsroom staff in January 2016.

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